April 10, 2014

Use a VT220 terminal unit with a Raspberry Pi

Those of us of a certain age will (fondly) remember logging in to various computing systems through a VT220 terminal or similar unit to check email, bash out code in vi or perhaps had some fun with Zork. For some fun and nostalgia Steve Longhurst has found a new use for a terminal by using it as an interface for his Raspberry Pi.

There are two ways of doing so, and one of which is via serial use two GPIO pins and a 5~3.3V level converter circuit. The software side can be easily handled with GNU screen, with which you have a neat 20th-century terminal for your Pi. 

A quick search of ebay shows a few terminals are still out there, so if you're into retro-computing - check out Steve's interesting website. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're going to interface older 5V hardware with boards that run on 3.3V such as a Raspberry Pi or Arduino Due - you'll need to interface  the GPIO pins with different voltages. When you're faced with this situation - don't panic! Make sure you have some of our LEVEL: bidirectional 5V-3.3V level converters in stock. For more information and to order, click here.

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